22:01 GMT +322 October 2019
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    A general view of the reactor block No.2 in the nuclear power station of Paks at about 120kms south from Hungarian capital Budapest on Thursday 29 May 2003

    Hungary Firmly Denies EU Has Vetoed its Nuclear Projects With Russia

    © AFP 2019 / ATTILA KISBENEDEK
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    Budapest has denied the report of the EU veto or other prohibitive fines on its nuclear projects with Russia.

    Paks Nuclear Power Plant in central Hungary.
    © East News / Photoshot/REPORTER/Attila Volgyi
    Andras Giro-Szasz, Hungary's state secretary responsible for government communications, has firmly denied the report of the EU veto or other prohibitive fines on its nuclear projects with Russia, in a statement to Hungarian state news agency MTI.

    "It is not true that the EU has blocked the Paks II construction," Giro-Szasz told the news agency AFP.

    On Thursday, the Financial Times reported that EU has blocked the Hungary-Russia nuclear deal and its EU nuclear body, Euratom, has refused Hungary's plans to import nuclear fuel from Russia.

    The newspaper said the decision was backed by the European Commission and halted the planned expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant.

    Giro-Szasz says he has asked the Financial Times to issue a correction.

    On December 9, 2014, Moscow and Budapest signed a contract for the construction of two new 1,200-megawatt power generating units for its only nuclear plant, Paks, which is set to begin in 2018.

    It was to be carried out by Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

    The European Commission allowed the Russian-Hungarian deal to go through.

    Earlier in February Financial Times already reported that the European Commission was looking into the legality of Hungary's contract with Russia and that Budapest could be facing a "veto or prohibitive fine" from the European Union over two concerns.

    The first issue is the legality of state subsidies and contracts awarded to Rosatom without a call for bids. The second is Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's alleged decision to conceal certain details of the contracts on grounds of national security, according to the publication.

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    Tags:
    nuclear power plant, construction, European Commission, Rosatom, Hungary, Russia
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